By Tim Kowols
A family dare turned Jacksonport tradition returns next Sunday when the 31st annual Polar Bear Plunge takes place at Lakeside Park. After jumping into Lake Michigan in the dead of winter following a loss to his father in a 5K run, founder J.R. Jarosh has turned the Polar Bear Plunge from a small group endeavor into an annual rite of the New Year for hundreds of people every year. Jarosh says the recent addition of adding themes to the frozen swim just adds to the experience.
The 80s-themed Jacksonport Polar Bear Plunge takes place at noon on January 1, with registration for the free event beginning at 10:30 a.m. Swimmers and spectators are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit local food pantry Feed my People. You can see a video from last year’s swim online with this story.